Intense Stare

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Brown bear
Brown bear boar.

A big boar intently looking for salmon on the Katmai Coast.  Had the sun directly behind the bear, so opted to blow out the background, and expose for the intense face!  

Big Bucks

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A big buck watching and waiting for a javelina to finish drinking.

We are now on our property and wow, there has been so much mammal and bird activity!  So busy right from the start, it is exciting!  Check out these guys from last night – funny how the big buck waited for the javelina to finish drinking before moving in.

Still waiting, I’m surprised it doesn’t just push it out.
Coast is clear!

I won’t use my real camera for a few days at least as I want everything to adjust and get use to our presence.

New Website

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The new website

Well we have completely redone our main photo website! Feel free to check it out! This was a daunting task. And although we reduced the size as compared to our old website substantially, it still contains almost 3,700 pages, and almost 15,000 images! That was a lot of adjusting, writing, uploading etc.

It is funny to think, our website began about 20 years ago as a little 5 page website created with MS FrontPage with a dial up internet connection!

Our website had become very dated. It wasn’t responsive so it wouldn’t resize on mobile devices, it had random sized photos because we increased the size over the years, and it was losing it’s ranking status with Google.

Finding ourselves with extra time, thanks to the pandemic, we figured this would be our only chance to really tackle this huge project. On our other websites for the Desert Photo Retreat and Alaska Photo Tours I used WordPress. But our main website was much too large, and I know how frustrating doing your own website can be – sometimes the simplest things like spacing can make me crazy.

So, for this project, we hired Jack Brauer with Wide Range Galleries, and I’m so glad I did! I have known of Jack and his beautiful photography for years. I know many fellow photographers who have hired him in the past who also rave about his websites, and now I see why.

Jack was awesome to work with, and he has really thought of everything when it comes to a photography website. I can manage everything on the backend and it is literally easier to make changes then even WordPress. His websites are responsive, serving up different sized images depending on the device. They are perfectly designed to maximize SEO. I could go on and on, but if you are serious about your own website, be sure to follow the link above where you can read much more.

Can Brown Bears Climb Trees?

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Lake Clark, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Brown bear sow, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Funny, when growing up in Alaska I used to always hear the advice that if you ran into a brown / grizzly bear, you should climb a tree, but if it is a black bear, don’t bother. As the advice used to go, unlike black bears, brown bears had claws too long for them to climb trees.

Well I have seen so many brown bears over the years way up in trees to know that this advice is completely wrong. But, we have learned so much over the years Back then I was told grizzles and brown bears were two different species which DNA testing has since proven false. The bears in the interior of Alaska are smaller because of the more limited food source, not because they are a different species. Turns out, having access to high calorie salmon is helpful in growing big.

This was a sow with a couple of young cubs way up in a spruce on a rainy day this past June. Here she is watching a boar on the ground below. I will say, I haven’t seen any of the huge boars climbing trees so maybe they can’t. This probably isn’t lost on the sows.

Summer 2020 at the Desert Photo Reteat

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Bobcat at my water hole and new catchment basin.

I never did get a chance to share images from my summer game cameras that I leave set up over the summer. Unfortunately, because there was so much daytime bird activity, my cameras hit there 6,000 photo limit in May, so I missed out on most of the summer action. Next year I will have a programmable game cam that can be turned off during the day – and hopefully that I can access via a cellular network.

I am so glad I went down there in mid August to refill the automatic watering system. The weather service predicted a hot and dry summer for 2020, but added it wouldn’t be as bad as the record year of 2019. Well they were wrong as it has been much hotter and drier.

On top of that, since my visit, it has continued to be hot a dry with new record highs being set almost daily. The temperature is still breaking a 100 there! I’m so glad I have a water source for the wildlife. Here is some of the May activity from after we left.

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